What to Buy in Covent Garden?
Covent Garden is home to one of the most popular shopping districts in London, with a huge range of world-class beauty, fashion, and lifestyle stores on offer alongside market stalls, independent boutiques and much more. Whatever you are looking for, you are sure to find it on offer in Covent Garden with a huge array of brands to choose from.
Covent Garden is home to several flagship stores for designer brands including Mulberry, Apple, Burberry, Chanel, Aspinall of London, Nicole Farhi, and many more. Along with the retail therapy experience, there are several stunning restaurants and cafes to dine at with a huge range of world cuisines to choose from whether you enjoy French classics, fine Italian dining, oriental delights, or British favourites.
Before it was the most popular shopping area in London, Covent Garden has had a rich history, spanning over four centuries. It began life in the 13th century when it was a site belonging to the St Peter’s Convent at Westminster, and became known as ‘convent garden’, which is where it gets its name from today.
It quickly became a popular area in the capital for trading fresh fruit and vegetable, and the Victorian market at Covent Garden as we know it today is one of the biggest fresh produce markets in the world.
In 1540, the monastic properties in the country were dissolved by Henry VIII, and eventually, the fourth Earl of Bedford commissioned Inigo Jones, an architect, to build houses fit for gentlemen in the area. The architecture that he created, including St Paul’s churchyard and three sides of terraced houses looking out into the open courtyard, was inspired by Italian architecture and remains at the centre of modern Covent Garden today.
What Shops are In Covent Garden?
Covent Garden is home to over two hundred different shopping destinations, with something for everybody to choose from whether you are looking to purchase from designer brands or want to find hidden gems and unusual finds at independent boutique stores. There are also several high-street favourites available, making this a truly diverse shopping destination with something available for everybody’s preferences, style, and budget, along with plenty of things to see and do when you’re not shopping.
This Japanese brand’s Covent Garden shop is a denim temple, with a minimal, clean interior ensuring that the jeans on offer are the star of the show. The range and quality of products on offer are massively impressive and it’s easy to see why the brand has managed to build quite the cult following. You can also pick up denim clothing items of all kinds here, with the trademark Edwin brand providing both men’s and women’s apparel and accessories.
Cambridge Satchel Men’s:
Cambridge Satchel Company rose to fame in London, and their products were mainly aimed at women, which is why it’s so exciting to see a man focussed store pop up in Covent Garden. This standalone store is designed just for guys who want to get their hands on smart, minimalist leather bags and accessories. The satchels are obviously the main stars of the show, but you can find many other products including shoulder bags, briefcases, wallets and more, all made from high-quality leather with several stunning rich tones. You can also have your bags personally embossed here while you wait.
H&M is a global fashion brand that most of us will have heard of, and if it’s a favourite option for you for your apparel then you’re going to love the flagship store at Covent Garden. This H&M is unlikely to be like one that you have ever visited before. Located just off Long Acre in the new Mercers Walk development, it’s a truly impressive shopping experience situated in a four-floor fashion factory. You’ll definitely find what you are looking for here with a huge range of the popular Scandi brand’s excellent basics and trending styles. On the ground floor, you’ll find a separate entrance to a beauty shop where you’ll find a massive range of makeup bags and self-care essentials.
If you’re looking for men’s vintage items, look no further than Vintage Showroom. This emporium of men’s vintage products offers a collection that’s hard to beat. Located in a former ironmonger with the sign still above the shop, the Vintage Showroom often feels like a museum, but the best twist is that you can buy anything that’s on show. It’s an especially good choice for workwear, sportswear, and accessories for fans of the vintage style, with plenty of collections from the early 20th century onwards to browse.
Since it began in Glasgow in the 1980s as a one-man-run market stall, Fopp went on to be an impressively successful music retailer, with around fifty stores in different UK locations. Although the company fell on hard times as music became more digital, the impressive Covent Garden store was saved after being purchased by HMV. Despite the change in ownership, Fopp has managed to hold onto its independent, intelligent vibe with a thoughtful collection of books, DVDs and CDs on offer including a fantastic collection of world cinema titles. If you prefer to buy your music and films the old-fashioned way, it’s definitely worth a visit.
The classic British clothing label, Fred Perry has an impressive store in the small yet aesthetic Seven Dials location. It may have used to have been a pub, but today it’s a sleek designer clothing store, although it still has the original bottle-green tiles that are a nod to the past. You will find a carefully curated selection of both men’s and women’s sports-influenced clothing sporting the famous laurel wreath logo, along with a range of collaborations with other fashion brands.
Other Things to Do in Covent Garden:
Covent Garden might be mainly about shopping, but it’s not all about the many brands’ names that call this area of London their home. If you’re looking for a break from retail therapy or have got everything that you need, there are plenty of things to do to pass the time or finish your day.
London Transport Museum:
If you love all things transportation, you can’t miss the London Transport Museum, with exhibits of vehicles from London’s past. It memorialises the many ways that Londoners have made their way across the city over the past century, and you can grab some unique souvenirs at the gift shop.
If you’re seeking some adrenalin but don’t want to go far, you can swap the Himalayas for Covent Garden, where you’ll find the same adrenaline rush without the risks. Located at the back of the central London Ellis Brigham store, you’ll find Vertical Chill, an eight-metre ice wall that you can climb.
Covent Garden Comedy Clubs:
After a long day of shopping, there’s no better way to end the day than by laughing until your sides hurt. Covent Garden certainly has no shortage of comedy clubs on offer, with plenty of shows from award-winning international comedians to attend. The Covent Garden Comedy Club is the biggest and most successful independent comedy club in the capital, or Top Stand Up Comedy at Seven Dials Club is where you’ll find some of the biggest names in the industry performing.
If you’re looking for a cosy spot where you can stop shopping for a bite to eat, Neal’s Yard is a fantastic option, tucked away in Seven Dials down a small side street. Despite its size, it is one of the best-looking streets in London and you can find everything here with a huge range of businesses offering pedicures to pizzas and everything in between. What makes it even better is that every business on Neal’s Yard is committed to ethical and sustainable practices.
If you’ve got everything that you wanted from the shops, a walking tour is one of the best ways to explore all the areas of Covent Garden that you might have missed. See Your City is an ideal choice, offering some of the most inclusive walking tours in Covent Garden that are available in six different languages. The tours are completely interactive and are hosted by actors and comedians who will keep you entertained and completely immersed in the tour from start to finish.
What Time Does Covent Garden Close?
Most Covent Garden shops and stalls will open at 10 am every day of the week. From Monday to Saturday, shops are usually open until 7 pm, while stallholders tend to start packing up at around 6 pm. Sunday opening times are from 11 am to 4 pm although many shops continue to open for a browsing hour at 10 am on a Sunday.
Restaurants, of course, will often open much later in Covent Garden and bars will remain open for even later still. Opening and closing times may vary from business to business so it is best to check directly with the venue that you are planning to visit.
If you want to go shopping in London, a visit to Covent Garden is the best way to spend the day.
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